Rodney - Jamaica, New York
Entered on March 2, 2009
Age Group: 30 - 50
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My name is Rodney Ladino. But this isn’t about me.

This is about my friend Alexandra Rubenstein. I met Alex at a rally. For the purpose of this story it doesn’t matter what we were protesting. What matters is that out of the thousands and thousands of people at this rally, her voice was the loudest. This cute little 5′ and change female that marched next to me that day had so much passion and energy. Full of positive energy. It was a funny/exciting/ pure-life-moment to witness.

That is who Alex was. She was a “do-gooder.” She was a good person. Not because of who she was but because of what she did. She helped.

She helped people. She volunteered. She did walks-for-causes. She volunteer at an Art Center dedicated to bringing creative arts to people living with cancer. And she did this all with one of the best smiles i have ever seen. A beautiful, selfless smile.

Alex was diagnosed with brain cancer . The cancer was caused by radiation she had received during a previous bout of cancer when she was only 19. The cancer at one point left her with partial loss of feeling on one side of her face but she didn’t complain about this. At the worst of times she appeared happier about life than most people are.

But the cancer was too much and she died before reaching the age of 30. And it breaks my heart that i didn’t know her better as a person.

So what do i believe?

I believe that you have to HELP.

I believe that you have to help those less fortunate. Help those more in need.

I believe that helping whenever/however you can makes us better, brighter, positive people.

I believe that in that moment of helping, we as people become more beautiful and powerful than money or possession’s can ever make us.

I believe that if you reach down to help those below you, when you need to reach up there will be a hand to help you.

Thank you Alex… for helping me to be better. And Smile more.